[ by Charles Cameron — request for info, Darfur, Janjaweed, Sufis, Senegal and more ]
Dr Esposito quotes Hirsi Ali as saying “What has often been described as a civil war is in practice the Sudanese government’s sustained persecution of religious minorities” and comments, “to say that Darfur is an example of the Muslim-Christian genocide is flat out wrong”.
My questions are not about Ali’s “Global War on Christians” or “Muslim-Christian genocide” but about the range of Muslim theological interests at play in the Darfur conflict.
Julie Flint, in Sudan, Darfur destroyed: ethnic cleansing by government and militia forces in Western Sudan, writes that “Almost all Darfurians belong to the Tijaniya sect of Sufi Islam that extends from Senegal to Sudan.”
And Robert Spencer writes that “Salafists target Muslims they regard as insufficiently Islamic also in Darfur, where Arab Muslims attack non-Arab Muslims whose Islam is closer to the cultural version that prevailed in Somalia than to Wahhabi austerity.”
Is Spencer right about that? And is it therefore arguable that in additional to nomadic vs sedentary and Arab vs black African issues, there’s a sectarian (intra-Muslim) component to the conflict?
Further, is Darfur (inter alia) a front we should be monitoring in terms of a global Salafi vs Sufi struggle?
Who and what should I be following / reading?
All of which brings me to the wider issue of violence against Sufis (and for that matter, violent as well as peaceable Sufi responses) in (eg) Libya (Daveed GR today), the Punjab (Raza Rumi) and of course Senegal (see image of mosque in Touba above)…
All pointers welcome.